The College's Summer Science
Workshop each year gives high schoolers valuable exposure to college-level
study. And Union gets something valuable too: eager students,
19 and counting.
Besides exposing nearly two dozen
budding scientists to the rigors of scientific research, the two-week
residential program has been something of a boon to the College's minority
Since its inception in 1996, 19 students
from the program have enrolled as students at Union. Several
have become counselors for the summer program. This year, three of the four
counselors were former campers.
Summer Science Workshop, which
targets minorities who are underrepresented in the health professions and
biological sciences, provides exposure to college-level classroom and
laboratory study, and career guidance for fields in health professions and
“We used to soft sell the students
on Union,” says program coordinator Karen Williams of
the first few years of the workshop. “Now we take them down to the admissions office
for interviews and invite them to a reunion in the fall.”
The program has HIV/AIDS as its
overarching theme. The students research the scientific, social and political
aspects of AIDS, and give presentations on a variety of topics related to the
epidemic. Beyond classes and labs in immunology, computer technology and
cellular biology, the students attend lectures at Albany
and meet HIV-positive people and their families.
Williams is joined by colleagues including
Peter Tobiessen, director; Twitty Styles, who
teaches immunology; James Hedrick, computer technology; and Quynh Chu-LaGraff, molecular
Now funded entirely by the College,
the program was launched with support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.